“Who will there be?” I mused as I drove in the late Autumn/early Winter sun through the broad, shallow valley.
I was returning home from Pontarfynach (Devil’s Bridge) and that valley is known as Rhos-y-Gell. It’s named after the stream which flows along it and empties near Pontrhydygroes into the mellow, winding Ystwyth.
They were delightfully happy days back then, sixty years and more ago. Holidays were wonderful, and we drove there in Uncle Doug’s car – all six of us – at all times of year as long as the roads were passable.
Doug would drive my Mom, Dad, Auntie Joan, cousin Susan and me there in his big “shooting-brake” all the way from Wolverhampton – and we loved that journey, and also the return, though it was tinged with wanting to go back to Wales as soon as it was possible.
As I drove – slower than usual for I was in pensive mood – I remember the locals who lived along that route, too. All of them gone now except for Wil and Brenda at Glagorslwyd and they’re in their eighties now. Glangorslwyd is the first house truly in Rhos-y-Gell along the road on the way from Pontarfynach. It’s snuggled beside that road and Wil and Brenda have lived there since I first visited the area and got to know them. They always speak to me in Welsh.
There was practically no other language spoken in these parts back then, and locals would apologise for their poor English. That amazed the teenage me!
And my wanderings all over the area are still fresh in my mind, as I’ve mentioned in this blog before. So are many, many of the events and happenings of those times in that place.
I am the only one of the six of us still alive. Mom and Dad both died back in the 1960s, well before their retirement years. Joan and Doug lived in Rhos-y-Gell for many years – at Minffordd – after the death of Sue at the age of eighteen. Both my uncle and aunt passed on a few years ago.
And my memories are shared by no-one now.